Sunday, May 3, 2009

divide and conquer

A little status check-in. I'm currently reading Middlemarch for Middlemay, but I have some extra reading time (have I mentioned this project has made me into a hyperactive reader?!). I reeeeally don't want to rush ahead with Middlemarch, because I quite enjoyed reading the first book in anticipation of our check-in, and I think if I tried to speed it up or read more of it I would enjoy it less.

But I do have some other monsters on my list. I decided to sit down today and divide a couple of them up into weekly chunks, too.

The first is Gotham, the 1999 Pulitzer prizewinning history of New York City, which clocks in at around 1,300 pages. A friend bought this for me for a birthday on a year that was closer to the book's publication year than the current year we're in. That was a large part of the reason I put this book on my list--I HAD to at least give it a shot. I divided it into 3-chapter chunks, each of which is about 40 pages. Seems manageable, right? My plan is to take it this slowly, take notes where I'm inspired to, and try to absorb as much trivia as possible. I love New York history, and would dearly love to be smarter about it. If I stick to it, I'll be able to finish the book in late October. We'll see.

The second is a history of the Crusades called God's War, by Christopher Tyerman. I was SO excited about this book when it came out back in like 2005 that I shelled out $35 for a hardcover (which, obviously, I've never read). It's 900 pages, and I've divided it into 8 sections based on the table of contents, roughly one for each Crusade and a couple other topics. I've read so much about the Crusades already that I'm not planning on noting this, just reading it as if it were "fun."

Aaaand because all three of these books (Middlemarch, God's War, and Gotham) are too heavy to carry, I'm also reading The Secret Life of Bees. So if I don't check in with any finished books for awhile, you'll know my excuses.

Is anyone else dividing books up like this? Or have you done it in the past? I figured a syllabus got me through stuff in college; all I need is a little organization.


Amanda said...

You have way more patience than I do. I can't slow down or stop reading a book or force myself to read it in little chunks. Sometimes I wish I could - it'd be nice to slow down - but somehow I never manage to. :)

PurpleClover said...

You and Amanda need to stop.

We are all feeling guilty enough.

And for the record, Secret Life of Bee's is one of the best books I've read in a really long time.

PurpleClover said...

And I was kidding about the stopping part. I hope everyone can tell I drip with sarcasm every minute of the day. :)

Amanda said...

Purple - I just found out one of the book clubs at the library will be doing The Secret Life of Bees in early July, so I'll get around to reading that soon!

Anonymous said...

I do that with biographies - it took me ages to read the biography of Marie Antoinette that got turned into a movie, but reading the book in chunks made it much easier.

PurpleClover said...

Well it has been a few years since I read it but I must admit that I don't remember how the actual writing was. I just remember the story and the dialogue. I'm someone that can overlook bad writing if there is a great story (Not saying its bad I just don't remember).

It is a GREAT story. I haven't seen the movie yet though.

(I will feel incredibly guilty if you hate

moonrat said...

i've got the movie of SECRET LIFE OF BEES next in my netflix queue... to encourage me to finish the book, but also to get that leona lewis song out of my head.

PurpleClover said...

I plan to add Secret Life of Bee's and Night in Rodanthe to my Blockbuster queue. I couldn't convince anyone to go see them with

Oddly enough I don't have many "readerly" friends that aren't under the influence of Twilightahol. Even my best friend succumbed...sigh. No offense to anyone that reads it but I couldn't get past the first page.